A Mineola convenience store must keep to its agreement with the village to close at 11 p.m., a judge ruled last Tuesday.
Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Karen Murphy dismissed Bolla Market’s lawsuit against the Village of Mineola asking for an order to allow its gas station and market at 449 Jericho Turnpike to stay open 24 hours, ruling the company waited far too long to challenge the village’s decision.
Bolla brought the suit in June 2015, about 18 months after the village approved a conditional use permit for the store allowing it to be operate between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m., well beyond the four-month statute of limitations and the village’s 30-day time limit for appealing a village permit decision, Murphy ruled.
“Under either limitations period, petitioners’ commencement of the instant action is untimely,” Murphy said in her Jan. 3 decision.
Bolla’s application drew vocal opposition at a series of public hearings over about three months in 2013 from dozens of Mineola residents who worried it would cause traffic and quality-of-life problems.
Bolla Management Corp., the company that owns and operates the store, first asked to keep it open 24 hours like the chain’s other markets, but offered to close at 11 p.m. to accommodate residents’ concerns in a letter to the village dated Nov. 19, 2013.
The firm also consented twice to the conditions the Village Board set when it approved the permit on Dec. 11, 2013, Murphy’s court ruling says.
Bolla argued it had been coerced into closing earlier than it wanted and that the village “rebuffed” its request for the board to change the permit conditions, the ruling says.
But Murphy sided with the village, saying the heart of the matter was how long Bolla waited to ask for the change.
Bolla could appeal the decision to the state Appellate Division court.
“If they do, we’re ready to fight, and we will fight,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.
Bolla’s attorney, David Altman of Melville-based Brown Altman LLP, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Bolla’s Mineola location borders a residential neighborhood, but a parking lot separates it from homes. A sign at the Latham Road entrance prohibits right turns onto the residential street.
A nearby Sunoco gas station at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Herricks Road is open 24 hours.
Mineola lost a lawsuit last year that ultimately forced the Village Board to allow a 7-Eleven convenience store to open at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Jay Court despite concerns from residents and trustees.
The Appellate Division called the board’s rejection of 7-Eleven’s application “arbitrary and capricious” because the village did not offer hard evidence that it would cause major traffic problems.
The state Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, denied to hear the village’s appeal of that ruling.